Studio Ponoc, founded by previous Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura (known for the Oscar-nominated When Marnie Was There), released their first animated feature, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, in Japan on July 8.
According to Deadline, the English-language cast will feature the talent of teen actress Ruby Barnhill, who made her big screen debut in Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, in the title role. She will be joined by Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty), Mary and the Witch’s Flower is based on Mary Stewart’s 1971 children’s book The Little Broomstick. It follows Mary as she discovers a strange flower that grants her magical powers.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower debuted in Japan shortly after the announcement that legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki would reopen Studio Ghibli to begin pre-production on a new film, Boro the Caterpillar, after a 4-year hiatus.
A North American release date has yet to be announced, but the film will be distributed by GKIDS.